U.S. points finger at Russia on Syria conflict

 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C. on June 13, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C. on June 13, 2012.
CBS News

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - The situation in Syria is becoming more grave by the hour.

Amnesty International said Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is terrorizing towns where rebels are believed to be sheltered.

Amateur video showed the city of Homs was under constant bombardment with makeshift hospitals overflowing with the wounded. Many are young children and there are running street battles outside the capital, Damascus.

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World leaders are struggling to come up with a plan to stop the violence.

The situation in Syria is so deeply concerning - that the Obama administration has decided to single out Russia not only for its support of Assad but also for continuing to sell some of the weapons that are used to crush the opposition and kill innocent civilians.

"We believe that the situation is spiraling towards civil war" said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. "And it's now time for everyone in the international community including Russia and all Security Council members to speak to Assad with a unified voice."

Clinton's urgent request comes just one day after she accused Russia of sending a fresh supply of gunships to Syria. CBS News has learned the U.S. has intelligence that a shipment of Russian MI-25 attack helicopters is on its way to Syria and set to arrive later this month.

"Russia says it wants peace and stability restored, it says it has no particular love lost for Assad and it also claims to have vital interests in the region and it relationships that it wants to continue to keep," said Clinton. "They put all of that at risk if they do not move more constructively right."

Syria has Russia's only naval base in the Mediterranean Sea and that could be at risk if Assad is forced from power. This tough new talk also sets up a critical meeting next Monday between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, their first meeting since Putin resumed office.

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